Here’s how to make tartar sauce! This easy homemade recipe takes just a few minutes and results in incredible flavor.

Tartar sauce

There are some sauces that we could not live without, and this Tartar Sauce recipe is one of them! Seafood is loads tastier with this creamy sauce, punctuated with tangy pops of pickles and capers. Use it as a smear for your salmon burger or a dipping sauce for salmon cakes, and it elevates them to new heights! In fact: we think this sauce is 100% required for salmon or crab cakes. Why make homemade tartar sauce? Well, it takes just a few minutes and results in absolutely incredible flavor: infinitely better than store-bought. (And that’s a fact.)

How to make tartar sauce

Tartar sauce is a mayonnaise-based sauce that’s often served with seafood. It’s common in the US, UK, South Africa, Australia and around the world. The exact origin is unknown, but it’s very similar to remoulade sauce, which was invented in France in the 17th century. There are some slight differences in ingredients between the two, but they are very similar and can be used almost interchangeably.

Tartar sauce is simple to make: you’ll simply mix together a few easy ingredients. Here’s how to make tartar sauce (or jump right to the recipe for exact quantities):

  • Chop the fresh ingredients: Finely chop the shallot and capers.
  • Mix: Mix them with the dill relish, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt and mayonnaise.
  • Chill: You can serve immediately, or chill a few hours for the flavors to meld.

How long does a homemade tartar sauce recipe last?

Once you’ve mixed up the tartar sauce, how long does it last? You can refrigerate homemade tartar sauce for up to 3 weeks. While some people may advise less time, mayonnaise is very stable in the refrigerator. We like to make a big batch and use it for recipes over a few weeks. You only use a little bit at a time!

Tartar sauce with salmon patties

Ways to serve this tartar sauce recipe

There are infinite ways to serve tartar sauce! It’s best with seafood, but it works with seafood or as a spread for sandwiches and burgers. You can use it to add big flavor with vegetarian dishes as well! Here are a few great ways to use it:

Vegan option

This tartar sauce recipe isn’t just for seafood! You can use it as a dip for vegetables or on vegan sandwiches to add major flavor. (In fact, we’re dying to try a vegan faux-fish sandwich with the stuff. Let us know if you have a good recipe!)

How to make this sauce vegan? Simply use your favorite brand of vegan mayo! Some brands have questionable flavor, so make sure to experiment to find one you love. You could also try using cashew cream in place of the mayo.

This tartar sauce recipe is…

Vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free. For vegan, use vegan mayonnaise.

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Tartar sauce

Easy Tartar Sauce

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ¼ cups 1x


Here’s how to make tartar sauce! This easy homemade recipe takes just a few minutes and results in incredible flavor.


  • 1 large shallot, finely minced (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons dill relish (or finely minced pickles)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise


  1. In a bowl, stir together all ingredients. Serve immediately or allow to chill for 1 to 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Store refrigerated for up to 3 weeks. 
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Tartar sauce, tartar sauce recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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